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5 Natural Ways to Find Support when Pregnant and a New Parent

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by | 15 views

Pregnancy and trying to conceive are exciting times, filled with new developments. And the birth of a first baby is truly the birth of three people: a child, a mother and a father (or partner.) It is so important to have strong supports to lean upon. Yet, many new parents find that old friends do not understand. How do we find new sources of support when pregnant or after becoming a new parent? Here are some of my suggestions.

1. Birth education classes

Challenge yourself to strike up a conversation with at least one interesting woman during one of your birth education classes. Finding new friends can make us feel like we are awkward middle school students, trying to ask someone out on a date, but give it a shot!

2. Online support

Find a Facebook group of local women going through the same thing. Google+ can be a great place to find communities with common interests. And BabyCenter and What to Expect have "birth month clubs" that can be found online and even in mobile phone apps. Online support is great for those times when you are up at 3am, nursing, and need an immediate answer.

3. Form or join a playgroup and "mama tribe"

Read this article on how a "mama tribe" can help during pregnancy and beyond. As great as online support can be, having face to face time is best. Plus you can eat and drink together!

4. Take prenatal yoga and mom and baby yoga

Not only will you be connecting with your inner calm and your baby, you may meet other women you can relate to.

5. Consult a therapist to help create a plan for social support

If all of the above aren't helping, if find you want to do it but can't make it happen, or if you may be at risk for postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, a licensed therapist can help you to create an individualized plan for support. *If you are having any thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, please get immediate help by calling 911, 888-724-7240, or your midwife or OB.

About the author:

Abigail Burd, MSW, LCSW, is a mother of two girls, two and under. Drawn to helping others, Abby has worked the last 15+ years in the mental health field as a therapist. She holds a Master of Social Work from San Diego State, is licensed in the state of California as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has worked in agencies such as UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, St. Vincent de Paul and Community Research Foundation since 1998. Struggling with an initial low milk supply following the birth of her first daughter along with all the emotional challenges of the postpartum stage, led her to some amazing support groups, and finding her “mama tribe.” After the natural high of the unmedicated birth of her second, she briefly contemplating having more and more babies, but decided instead to integrate her passion and profession and support other pregnant and postpartum women. Abby has a small private practice for therapy in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, specializing in the anxiety and emotional challenges of pregnancy and new parenthood (AbigailBurdLCSW.com) and works part-time for the San Diego City College Mental Health Counseling Center. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and blogs about natural parenting and seasonal recipes at BabyBirdsFarm.com.

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